- Source : Press Release
- Date : 2020-06-29
- Companies : Exela Pharma Sciences, LLC
Covid-19 Response and Status Update at Exela Pharma Sciences
JUNE 29, 2020 – Like many essential businesses, we at Exela have been impacted by COVID. Those who tested positive are recovering at home. We continue to monitor the matter, follow CDC recommendations regarding care and prevention, and explore ways to further reduce risk including urging our employees to be mindful of their activities outside of the workplace to reduce their risk of bringing the virus into our facilities.
During this pandemic, Exela has not taken lightly its role to protect its employees, their families, or the communities in which we live. Indeed, we have kept abreast of the changing recommendations from the CDC and other healthcare professionals since the beginning of the pandemic. For example, from first beginning temperature checks in March, we have implemented the following practices (with updates included):
Encouraged the use of teleconferencing and avoidance of in-person meetings whenever possible
Encouraged the use of teleworking for employees where possible
Implemented social-distancing mandate (at least six feet apart)
Taking the temperature of every employee each time they enter any of our facilities (beginning of day, returning from lunch, etc.) and lowering the threshold fever to 100.2F (below CDC recommendations) and now to 100.0F (even further below CDC recommendations)
Severely limited our facilities to non-essential visitors/outsiders
Limited entrance to our buildings for guests and employees to a single entrance point (allowing us to check temperatures and observe any other potential signs/symptoms of COVID-19)
Made face coverings/masks available to all employees; mandated their use in any location in which employees could not maintain social distance, and now mandated face coverings/masks for all employees and visitors
Mandated hand sanitizing by all employees entering the building
Placed many hand sanitizing stations throughout our facilities
Required any employee who reported being symptomatic to remain home. We have allowed for flexibility in working from home and have paid employees their full salary and benefits while out for a COVID-related reason (even before the First Families Coronavirus Act was passed into law) – continuing still with that practice, going above and beyond what the law requires
Required any employees sent home for quarantine to remain out of the workplace for at least fourteen days (or longer if recommended by their physician) or until they can provide a negative COVID-19 test result with no reduction in pay and benefits
Except under limited circumstances, required any employee who leaves their home county (other than for work) or Caldwell County for a day or longer to self-quarantine for two weeks. Again, where possible these employees are allowed to work from home and even if unable to, receive their full pay and benefits
Required any employee who has been in close contact (as defined by the CDC) with someone who tests COVID-19 positive or if a household member tests positive to self-quarantine for two weeks. Again, these employees are paid their full salary and benefits
Increased cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing of the building, paying special attention to common touch points such as door knobs light switches, vending machines and community areas
Eliminated the use of external picnic tables during lunch times
Reduced seating capacity in the main dining room to ensure appropriate social distancing
Interviewed, contact-traced, and sent dozens of employees for testing, and when the results came, quarantined those tested positive and
Urged all employees to be mindful of their activities outside the workplace so as to not undermine the efforts made within our facilities.
Exela encourages its employees to be forthcoming if they are experiencing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and to advise us if they have witnessed anyone else experiencing any symptoms including their colleagues or family members. The very reason Exela chose to maintain full wages and benefits to all quarantined employees from the outset is to assure them that there will be no financial burden on them and thus are incentivized to be honest and forthcoming with disclosing any symptoms or positive tests of themselves or anyone they come in close contact with. Our employees do not have to be forced to choose between reporting and maintaining their wages/benefits. We have not laid off, furloughed, reduced wages/benefits or asked employees to use up their vacation for COVID-19 reporting/testing related reasons.
In addition to implementing the above-noted safe practices at Exela, the Company intends to continue providing full pay and benefits to encourage employees to stay home, take care of themselves, and help us protect other employees and their respective families. This has been communicated to our employees previously on more than one occasion. In return, we ask and expect all our employees to commit to make rational, prudent, risk-averse decisions both at work and outside of work place to reduce the risk of infection at work place.